The University of Minnesota Extension has a long history of assisting Minnesota communities that seek to promote local economic growth through tourism. Our Community Economics educators work with communities at all stages of tourism development — whether your community is in the early stages of development or working to diversify a mature tourism industry.
University of Minnesota Tourism Center
448 Coffey Hall
St. Paul, MN 55108-6005
The Tourism Assessment Program can help your community open up to new visitors and strengthen your local economy. When your community conducts a Tourism Assessment Program, a team of community leaders and University faculty members gather and review data to analyze the community's tourism assets and potential for tourism development. The program includes a visit by the team to the community. What they uncover is provided back to the community in a written report and discussed with the community at a public meeting to spark discussion of potential next steps in tourism planning. The community can then use the information to help set priorities for local tourism development efforts.
The Tourism Assessment Program can be completed within an eight-week time period. Potential follow-up consultations from University of Minnesota Extension's Community Economics educators, or tourism specialists from the University of Minnesota Tourism Center can be tailored to your local goals.
Some communities prefer to manage the tourism development process independently. A core tool for assisting communities, the Community Tourism Development manual applies theory to real life -- delivering the essentials of planning, developing, and managing tourist destinations from a community standpoint. This research-based, hands-on guide takes you step-by-step through successful tourism development planning. Stories of how communities have found success with tourism serve as examples to help illustrate core concepts.